How High Does a Traffic Sign Have To Be In Georgia?

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How Can You Fight A Georgia Traffic Sign Ticket?

We had a client who came to us with a Georgia traffic ticket out of Barrow County for violating a traffic sign stating that no trucks were allowed to use a certain road.  Our traffic ticket client was driving what would be called by most people a big rig or tractor trailer.  He is a professional driver with a Georgia commercial drivers license.  His ability to drive is critical to him providing for himself and his family.  The traffic citation attorneys at Goldstein Law Group knew that and attempted to fight his failure to obey a traffic control device ticket.

The Law of Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device

Specifically, the ticket was for failure to obey a traffic control device in Georgia, which is governed by the Georgia Statute O.C.G.A. 40-6-20, which reads in pertinent part:

  • (a) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of an official traffic-control device applicable thereto, placed in accordance with this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter. A violation of this subsection shall be a misdemeanor, except as otherwise provided by subsection (f) of this Code section.
  • (b) No provisions of this chapter which require official traffic-control devices shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official device was not in proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular Code section does not state that official traffic-control devices are required, such Code section shall be effective even though no devices are erected or in place.

This failure to obey a traffic control device can apply to red light tickets in Georgia or stop sign tickets in Georgia. Any type of traffic signal, whether stationary or electronic, that is not properly followed by Georgia drivers will be given a traffic citation under the failure to obey a traffic control device code section under O.C.G.A. 40-6-20.

How High Does a Traffic Control Sign Have to Be in Georgia?

The important part:  The traffic sign in our client’s case wasn’t high enough.

It turns out that all traffic signs are governed by federal law. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the federal Department of Transportation is the authority which dictates the height which all traffic signs are required to be in order to be legal. It reads in relevant part:

Section 2A.18 Mounting Height

Standard:
04 The minimum height, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the elevation of the near edge of the pavement, of signs installed at the side of the road in rural areas shall be 5 feet (see Figure 2A-2).

Since our client was given his no truck ticket in a rural area of Barrow County, the sign needed to be a minimum of 5 feet off of the ground from the bottom of the no truck sign to the bottom of the sign.

How Did Our Atlanta Traffic Ticket Attorneys Prove the Sign Wasn’t High Enough?

Atlanta Ticket Lawyer Sean Goldstein measuring traffic sign.

First, we got tipped off that the no truck sign might not be high enough by looking at Google Maps. It was clear that the sign was tilted down toward the edge of the pavement and might not be high enough. We then went to the scene and measured the sign as you can see from the photo.

We took a standard tape measure and set it at five feet. We then followed the MUTCD and measured the no truck sign from the edge of the pavement to the bottom of the traffic sign.

Once we measured the traffic control device sign, it was painfully clear that the sign was not high enough according to the standards for traffic control signs set out under the MUTCD.

After our Georgia traffic citation attorneys determined this sign was not high enough, we went to court three times to negotiate with the prosecutors regarding the no truck signs deficiencies. After presenting the traffic court prosecutors with the relevant sections from the MUTCD and pictures of the sign, they agreed to dismiss the failure to obey a traffic control device ticket against our CDL driver client.

Contact the Atlanta Traffic Ticket Attorneys at Goldstein Law Group Today

If you’ve gotten a traffic ticket in Atlanta, or anywhere in the State of Georgia including Gwinnett County, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County, or Barrow County, or in the cities of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Douglasville, Dunwoody, Duluth, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Norcross, Roswell, Sandy Springs, or Suwanee, call us at (678) 757-5529 for a free consultation or Contact Goldstein Law Group online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Radar Georgia Speeding Ticket Defense

Moving Radar Georgia Speeding Ticket Defense

Even after more than five years helping Georgia drivers with their speeding tickets, I still get new cases with new factors in them to consider.  Today’s new factor was a Lilburn speeding ticket issued using “moving radar.”  Frankly, I had never seen a moving radar speeding ticket and investigated on behalf of my client.  Immediately, I was skeptical that moving radar could be as accurate as stationary radar.  Also, I was unaware that Georgia speeding tickets could be issued by an officer using moving radar as I was unsure of whether issuing speeding tickets using moving radar was an approved method by the courts.

A search of the speeding ticket laws in the actual code of the State of Georgia actually revealed absolutely nothing.  There is no mention of moving radar at all.  This Atlanta speeding ticket lawyer can only conclude that moving radar comes under the laws of stationary radar, which can be found in O.C.G.A. 35-8-2 and other assorted statutes.  A search of caselaw yielded similar results.  There were only two cases that mentioned moving radar, one of which was a civil case involving a collision where a state trooper hit a citizen while using moving radar, and a juvenile speeding ticket case where moving radar was used but the court did not comment on the accuracy or reliability of radar in speeding ticket cases.

This Atlanta speeding citation attorney can only concluded that while moving radar may be admissible in your Atlanta speeding violation case according to the courts, a good Atlanta speeding ticket lawyer might be able to fight your speeding ticket if moving radar was used based on the at least perceived less reliability of  moving radar versus stationary radar.  Knowing what I now know, I will certainly be prepared to go to Lilburn Municipal Court with solid arguments on why our client’s Lilburn speeding ticket should be reduced or dismissed.

 

Georgia Eliminates International Driving Permit

Beginning on January 1, 2017, the International Driving Permit (IDP), will no longer be required for drivers visiting from other countries. This is an important change in the law which affects our clients, many of whom have relatives visiting from the Republic of Korea.

The previous version of the relevant statute, which is O.C.G.A. 40-5-21, required an International Driving Permit for holders of licenses from foreign countries if the native license was not in English. The 2015 version of O.C.G.A. 40-5-21 read in relevant part:

“(2) A nonresident who has in his or her immediate possession a valid driver’s license issued to him or her in his or her home state or country; provided, however, that such person would otherwise satisfy all requirements to receive a Georgia driver’s license and, if such nonresident driver’s license is in a language other than English, the nonresident also has in his or her immediate possession a valid international driving permit which conforms to and has been issued in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on Road Traffic, 3 U.S.T. 3008, TIAS 2487, or any similar such treaty, international agreement, or reciprocal agreement between the United States and a foreign nation concerning driving privileges of nonresidents;”

The new version of O.C.G.A. 40-5-21, as amended by Georgia SB 320, eliminates the need for an International Driving Permit entirely and reads:

(2) A nonresident who has in his or her immediate possession a valid driver’s license issued to him or her in his or her home state or country; provided, however, that such person would otherwise satisfy all requirements to receive a Georgia driver’s license; and provided, further, that in the case of a driver’s license issued by the driver’s licensing authority of a foreign country, a law enforcement officer may consult such person’s passport or visa to verify the validity of such license, if available.

Notice that nowhere in the statute is an International Driving Permit even mentioned. It’s clear that the legislature sought to eliminate the International Driving Permit entirely.

Bear in mind that the driver must be eligible to receive a Georgia license under Georgia law. While this element of the statute does apply to minimum age and physical requirements, it is mainly worried about immigration status. Since a person without immigration status is unable to obtain a Georgia license, this element forestalls undocumented people from using their license from their native country to drive.

It is our advice to our clients and their families that while driving in Georgia under this new law, that you should have your native drivers license and your passport with you at all times.